Chapter 25 – Gear legs micro’d

Today I started off by pulling the peel ply from the 1-ply BID layups securing the gear fairings to the main gear legs.  I also removed the 1/32″ spacers that provided a gap during the fairing install that will result in the gear fairings “floating” above the surface of the painted fuselage with just enough of a gap to allow for gear movement without damaging the paint or surface of the fuselage… at least that’s the goal.

Mike Beasley employed this method of installing his gear fairing and he’s reported that after a good year+ of flying his Long-EZ that he has no damage or scuffing on the fuselage.

Here’s the other side.

And a couple shots from the front side.

I then spent nearly 45 minutes taping the fuselage all around the gear legs/fairings in prep for both sanding and microing up the legs.

I gave the freshly cured BID that secures the fairings to the gear legs a good sanding, as well as the top of the gear legs (bottom as situated here).

Originally I had planned on only finishing the bottom of the gear legs, so only sanded that area.  I quickly realized how silly of an idea that was so today I sanded down all the surfaces of the main gear.

I then got to work micro’ing up the gear legs.  I used regular micro with about 30% West 410 added to the mix.  This ratio really does seem to work the best in all the iterations that I’ve tried.

Also note the black electrical tape around the perimeter of the gear fairing.  Just as I did on the canopy frame, once I applied all the micro finish to the gear legs, I then pulled the black electrical tape to leave a very clean, micro-free edge around the gear fairings.

Again, just like the recent canopy frame and the aft nose/avionics cover micro finishes, it’s really cool to see the splotchy, multi-colored, irregular surfaces get smoothed out and in one solid color.  Clearly that changes a bit during the cycles of sanding and priming, but it’s a cool process to take these components to paint.

One last shot of the freshly micro’d gear legs.

Tomorrow I plan on removing the wings and taking this bird outside to sand down the micro on the gear legs, and then rolling right into epoxy wipes.

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